Sue and James and their baby Jamie approached the Air New Zealand check in counter at Auckland airport.
"Lo!" they said. "Here we are. We wish to travel to Wellington to stay with our friend Alan Robson for the weekend.
"To hear is to obey," declared the check in lady obligingly. She poked keys on her computer, printed out luggage tags and issued boarding passes. "Have a wonderful flight."
Sue and James and their baby Jamie made their way to the departure lounge where they boarded their flight at the exact time printed on their boarding passes. They settled themselves in their seats and fastened their seat belts. No sooner had they done so, than the plane began to taxi out to the runway. Sue checked her watch. The departure time was exactly as it was advertised to be, to the second.
The captain made an announcement.
"Welcome on board ladies and gentlemen, And I would like to extend a particular welcome to Sue and James and their baby Jamie who are travelling to Wellington to stay with their friend Alan Robson for the weekend. Since Alan himself is not on board this flight, we have decided to depart from our normal practice, and take off on time. We do not plan to have any engineering difficulties, and we have not scheduled any bad weather. So hang on to your seats, and enjoy your flight."
Vroom, vroom! With a roar and a screech the plane took off into the vivid blue sky. Sue checked her watch again. Spot on! So far, everything was going to plan.
Tea and coffee were served and sipped. Sue and James and their baby Jamie enjoyed the smooth, level flying conditions. There was no turbulence, the plane did not quiver once. Coffee cups were collected, seat backs were put in the upright position and tray tables were stowed away. The plane descended smoothly and landed at Wellington without a single bounce or sway. As it taxied to the terminal building the steward made an announcement.
"Ladies and gentlemen, and particularly Sue and James and their baby Jamie, welcome to Wellington. We apologise for the extremely early arrival of this aeroplane. We hope it hasn't disrupted your plans too much. It's all Alan Robson's fault. We had to arrive early because he isn't flying with us today. So please blame him, not us. Thank you all for taking part in the great conspiracy to frustrate Alan's plans. Even as we speak, he is driving to the airport to meet Sue and James and their baby Jamie, secure in the knowledge that we are bound to be late, as we always are when he travels with us. He will not arrive here for ages yet. Thank you for contributing to his paranoia. Enjoy your stay in Wellington."
Sue and James and their baby Jamie left the plane and walked to the luggage carousel. The instant they arrived at the luggage carousel, their luggage appeared before them as if by magic. They didn't have to wait a moment.
"I wonder where Alan is," said Sue.
"He'll be along in an hour so," said James. "About twenty minutes after the scheduled arrival time of the plane. Just be patient."
"Goo, gooo, gaah," said Jamie. And everyone agreed.
Sue and James and their baby Jamie spent the whole weekend with us. We did all the tourist things; we ate and drank and made merry, courtesy of Air New Zealand. Sue told me a joke:
An egg and a sausage lay together in a frying pan. The heat rose and rose and the sausage started to spit and sizzle.
"Oh my goodness," said the sausage to the egg. "This is horrible; all my fat is leaking out and my skin is going brown and it hurts. Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!"
"Eeeeeekkkk!!!!!", said the egg. "A talking sausage!!"